#TeamKey has alot of tweets to catch up on

MICHAEL FIELD
Last updated 17:17 01/07/2014

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Prime Minister John Key's imitative tweet, has turned out to be his most popular, a survey of world leader's Twitter behaviour reveals.

With just 110,629 followers as of last month, @johnkeypm is a long way shy of making the world's top 50 leaders on Twitter, according to the latest findings of Burson-Marsteller's Twiplomacy.

Unurprisingly, Key is not even a blip in the world of selfies, famously led by US President Barack Obama with Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt at Nelson Mandela's funeral.

But at least Key is doing much better than Foreign Minister Murray McCully, who makes no impression at all, despite the study reporting other foreign ministers have established a virtual diplomatic network by following each other on the social media platform.

Even Fiji's military appointed foreign minister, Inoke Kubuabola, is doing better than McCully with 175 followers.

"For many diplomats Twitter has become a powerful channel for digital diplomacy and 21st century statecraft and not all Twitter exchanges are diplomatic, real world differences are spilling over reflected on Twitter and sometimes end up in hashtag wars," the study says.

In the survey the new prime minister of India, Narendra Modi, is the big mover. His account is into the top four most followed Twitter accounts of world leaders with close to 5 million followers.

Obama leads with 43 million, Pope Francis with 14 million and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on 5 million.

"The five most followed world leaders have one thing in common: they have discovered Twitter as a powerful one-way broadcasting tool; they are only following a handful of other world leaders, if any, and are hardly conversational which is almost impossible, given the sheer size of their audience."

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Eight world leaders have seen some of their tweets retweeted more than 24,000 times.

These include Modi's election tweet "India has won! The conquest of India. Good days are ahead", Malaysian Prime Minister Mohd Najib Tun Razak @NajibRazak tweet on Malaysia Airlines flight MH370: "With deep sadness and regret I must inform you that, according to this new data, flight #MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean."

By contrast Key's most popular tweet, "bugger #americascup" was retweeted 1482 times.

The survey listed the biggest number of at-mentions he made, led by six mentions each of @EmiratesTeamNZ, @JuliaGillard and @lordemusic. They are followed by @cricketworldcup 5, @TonyAbbottMHR 4, @nikkikaye 4, @johnkeypm 4, @David_Cameron 3, @AllBlacks 3 and @melissaleemp 3.

The survey says Key has been pictured sitting in front of a computer sending his first personal tweet, however the account is mostly managed by his staff.

"The prime minister does not engage in conversations with his Twitter followers and will not reply to direct messages.

"If you DM John Key you should not expect a response' states his Twitter background picture."

Australia Prime Minister Tony Abbott has 297,426 followers and he seldom mentions Key.

Fiji military strongman Frank Bainimarama has 1724 followers and his most popular tweet is one reassuring Fijians that parliamentary elections will be held in 2014 according to the timetable set.

The Government of Samoa has 176 and Tonga joined Twitter in January 2012. "However, the account is protected, cannot be seen by the public and has only 10 followers." World leaders combined have sent 1.9 million tweets to 157 million followers.

- Stuff

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